Are Soulcalibur VI's wacky custom characters ruining Ranked play?


Nobody is ready for Carly Rae Jepsen

One of the very best elements of Bandai Namco’s recently-released Soulcalibur VI is its great character creation tool, Create-A-Soul. Within a week, we have already seen a ton of crazy characters from pop culture, other fighting games, and real-life stepping up to throw down on the Stage of History.

However, for some of the community’s players it’s not all fun and games. Namco Bandai has allowed the use of custom characters in SCVI’s online ranked mode, where players battle it out for points, rank and leaderboard status, as well as utilising a competitive training ground for their setups, combos and other tactics.

The problem here is that some of the goofy and creative custom characters people are taking into battle are messing with the mechanics; changing hitboxes, causing combos that should work to drop, creating combos that shouldn’t, or otherwise breaking the game through size, speed, moveset or an amusing combination of all three. Some players are reportedly also creating characters that blend in with darker stages, giving it the whole John Cena strategy.

Some of the community don’t see any problem, saying that the complainers are taking the game too seriously. But to be fair, fighting games are serious biznezz for some, literally. It’s easy to see their point when Namco could have simply locked custom characters to unranked play or added an option that levels the playing field, such as Injustice 2’s “Competitive Mode”. Everybody’s happy.

Soulcalibur pro-player and commentator Aris made a typically acerbic statement about this on his channel Avoiding the Puddle, and many others have taken to communities such as Event Hubs to voice their displeasure. For these players, it’s not a case of banning custom characters from fighting online, just keeping them away from Ranked Mode. It’s definitely a change worth considering, but first, I’d prioritize giving SCVI’s online more stability in general. Custom characters or not, lag and long wait times kill everyone’s fun.

Soulcalibur VI is available now on PS4, PC and Xbox One.